University of Maryland Extension

GPS Training

Handheld GPS receivers are a great resource for landowners, natural resource professionals, and other outdoor recreationalists. Current GPS units are accurate (plus or minus 15 feet) and can be used for marking hunting locations, structures, streams, your vehicle location, as well as for fun activities such as geocaching. Professional natural resource managers can save valuable field time by using GPS with a computer to locate inventory plots, access roads, outlining timber sale and property boundaries, directing customers to sale locations, and much more.

The University of Maryland Extension offers workshops in Beginner GPS Training to teach those interested in learning how to use GPS handheld receivers with a computer, with specific applications to forestry and logging uses. The workshop provides a Garmin GPS MAP76CSx unit for each participant to use as well as a laptop computer. The day-long workshop uses both classroom and field instruction. The skills learned can be applied to a GPS handheld you may have purchased. The workshop will provide the basics of using a GPS receiver, as well as: marking waypoints, creating routes, entering and finding coordinates, determining acreage of a site, incorporating coordinates into timber sale bids, locating roads, stream crossings, points of interest, downloading and uploading data to a computer (laptops provided), computer software options, and comparing different GPS handheld units.

A second one-day workshop provides an orientation to the use of Terrain Navigator (TN) software that provides USGS topographic maps on CD-ROM. It enables you to create GPS waypoints, routes and tracks; to transfer them to a GPS unit, or to download GPS information taken in the field; and create a individualized computer map of the area you are working. This is very useful for natural resource professionals and landowners as well.

Workshops are offered at various locations throughout Maryland. Check the Events calendar for upcoming programs.


WSE initiatives are supported by funding from the USDA Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA). To learn more about the RREA, visit this site (external link).


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University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.